As our speedboat approached Maafushi Island, I was feeling the usual anxiety of being in a new foreign land. We were staying at Velana Beach Hotel, and the hotel had informed us via email that there would be a representative waiting for us at the jetty.
Finally, our boat arrived at Maafushi and I stepped off the boat with our luggage, feeling slightly apprehensive.
“Hi! Are you Evan and Raevian?”
I turned around to see a petite lady smiling at me. Beside her was a Velana Beach Hotel male staff holding the hotel signboard.
I reached out my hand eagerly to exchange a firm handshake with the lady, who introduced herself as Shaza. The friendly male hotel staff promptly loaded our luggage onto a wheelbarrow and helped us to push it all the way to the hotel.
Shaza walked us to the hotel, exchanging pleasantries with us along the way.
Suffice to say, I immediately felt a lot more relaxed, knowing that I was in good hands. Velana Beach Hotel certainly knows how to nail a good first impression!
We had a wonderful stay at the hotel, and this is the full review of our experience here.
Velana Beach Hotel – Premier Boutique Hotel
We had decided to stay at Velana Beach Hotel after reading many positive reviews about it online. The hotel brands itself as a premier boutique hotel, and charges a slight premium over other hotels on the island. However, it was worth every single cent because the accommodation, food, and service were all top-notch.
Personally, we find that a good hotel is very important because we always look forward to resting in a comfortable room after a long day of tiring activities. Luckily, Velana Beach Hotel did not disappoint us at all, and every night we had a super good rest. This is the perfect hotel for anyone who is willing to spend a little bit more for comfort.
Jetty at Male Island (near Bank of Ceylon)
Velana Beach Hotel provided awesome service right from the get-go.
To get to Maafushi Island, we needed to take a speedboat from Male Island. Velana helped us to book the transfer, and all we had to do was to get to the jetty (near Bank of Ceylon) at the designated time. At the jetty, the boat crew verified our identities before quickly helping us to load our luggage onto the boat.
The boat trip from Male to Maafushi took about forty minutes. It was a very comfortable ride. Our luggage was stored underneath the speedboat so it was really spacious in the passengers’ section.
When we arrived at Maafushi Island, we were greeted by the friendly Shaza, as described at the beginning of the article. After walking for a short five minutes or so, we arrived at the hotel. Rimzan, the hotel manager, welcomed us enthusiastically and ushered us to sit in the restaurant while he proceeded with our check in.
As we had arrived around late morning, the restaurant staff were about to clear the buffet breakfast items. However, they took the initiative to ask if we had breakfast before doing so, even though we had not even checked into the hotel yet. Kudos to great service!
After the check-in was completed, Rimzan and Shaza helpfully explained to us how to tour the island and provided us with a map. Velana Beach Hotel provides free bicycle rental so you can cycle around the island if you wish. They also ran through with us the list of activities provided by the hotel, such as snorkeling, dolphin safari, sunset cruise, etc.
Throughout our stay, the hotel staff were all very friendly. Every morning when we went down for breakfast, the staff would always greet us good morning with a smile. They would also engage in friendly small-talk with us, which made us feel that they treated us like friends instead of mere hotel guests. This definitely made Velana Beach Hotel feel like a second home to us.
The hotel is also child-friendly. There was a couple with a baby staying in the hotel and the restaurant staff always allocated sufficient space for the baby stroller / baby chair during meals. They would also eagerly help the couple with any special requests. Through chatting with Rimzan, we found out that the hotel organized private day tours (sunset cruise, sandbank tour, etc) for the family so that it would be more convenient for the couple to take care of their baby.
After checking in, we were excited to start our holiday in Maafushi and went up to our room promptly.
Velana Beach Hotel touts itself as a premier hotel, and the room definitely lives up to this statement! It is spacious with a modern chic design that exudes both comfort and elegance. The large king-size bed felt super comfortable and was perfect for resting after a long day of activities. The bathroom had a rain shower and it felt heavenly to bathe under the running water after a tiring day!
And of course, drinking water was replenished every day, and there was a safe in the room to keep our valuables.
Awesome Daily Breakfast
Every morning, we would enjoy a delicious breakfast spread. The hotel offers daily breakfast buffet with slight variations every day. The buffet consisted of breakfast cereals, eggs cooked in our preferred style, toasted bread, jam, sausages, bacons, a few other usual breakfast items, and the usual beverages (coffee, tea, milk, juices).
Even though there was not a huge variety of food, we still enjoyed the daily breakfast very much because all the food were always fresh and warm. Service by the staff were simply awesome too; they always greeted us with a smile and were always around to clear our tables or refill our drinks. Thanks to Velana, we had a fantastic start to our day every day in Maafushi.
Fine Dining at “Kaalama Restaurant”
Velana Beach Hotel is the only hotel on Maafushi Island to offer fine dining at its signature restaurant, the Kaalama Restaurant.
We felt really lucky to have this restaurant located right in our hotel, as it offers fine dining at an affordable price, along with superb service and a classy ambience. One of the highlights of this restaurant is that we can either choose to dine inside the restaurant, in the hotel’s enchanting garden, on the hotel’s second floor terrace overlooking the sea, or on the sandy beach. Pretty cool!
Speaking to Rimzan, we found out the restaurant’s head chef is actually an award-winning food consultant in Maldives. The restaurant’s concept and menu is his brainchild. Looking through the menu, we saw that it offers exquisite starters, main courses, and desserts. You can check out the full Kaalama’s restaurant menu.
The Sesame Tuna is a starter dish that consists of seared Maldivian tuna with crusted sesame; an interesting but delicious combination. We enjoyed the dipping sauce very much too. It is concocted using soy sauce and balsamic. The end result is an intriguing combination of tangy and savoury flavours which complimented the fresh seared tuna perfectly.
Singaporeans will enjoy the Chicken Satay dish, a Maldivian twist on our local dish. While it did not exactly taste like true Singaporean-style satay (the flavour was not as strong), it still had a nice savoury taste which we enjoyed very much.
Another spin on our local dish, the Chicken Biryani offered a tantalizing spicy flavour with its fragrant basmati rice and succulent pieces of chicken. The creamy condiment act as a nice compliment to this gutsy dish.
Grilled Seafood platter
The pièce de résistance was, of course, the Grilled Seafood Platter! We had tried several seafood platters at other restaurants on the island, but Kaalama’s one was definitely the best. This heavenly dish consisted of grilled tiger prawns, cuttlefish, octopus, crab, grilled fish with French Fries/ garlic rice/ mash potatoes, and buttered vegetables.
When the dish was served, we were immediately impressed by its beautiful presentation. The seafood were laid out exquisitely on the plate, and it tugged at our heartstrings to spoil this pretty dish by eating it!
All the seafood tasted delicious. Our favourite was the savoury grilled fish, which tasted absolutely fresh, and had just the right amount of bite. You can’t really go wrong with eating seafood in Maafushi / Maldives (since the islands are surrounded by ocean waters teaming with rich marine life), but Kaalama Restaurant brings it to the next level with this sublime dish!
We ended off our delicious meal with the sinful Chocolate Fondant, which consisted of a tantalizing molten chocolate cake with sugar icing sprinklings and a scoop of sweet vanilla ice cream by the side. The delicate sweetness of the chocolate cake and ice cream romanced my taste buds and left me wanting more.
Many other great dishes!
During our stay here, we also tried the Baby Octopus starter, the Chicken Rice main course, and the Maldivian Cream of Rice Pudding (Pirini) dessert. We enjoyed all these dishes very much too!
It definitely felt nice to be pampered with such good food after a long day of activities.
Christmas Buffet Feast!
We went to Maafushi during the Christmas period, and so we were lucky enough to experience the annual Christmas Buffet Feast (USD 17 per pax) organized by Velana Beach Hotel.
This was truly a feast to behold!
The restaurant was lined with a extravagant spread of food presented exquisitely in classy metalware. Just seeing the fantastic food spread was enough to make us salivate.
The food tasted awesome, and we enjoyed dining in the outdoor garden under the starry night. It was a surreal setting, as the whole garden was decorated with radiant LED lights and the trees were lighted up with colorful spotlights. There was even a live band which performed beautiful renditions of eighties pop/rock music!
If you are visiting Maafushi during the Christmas period, I highly recommend going for this buffet feast. It cost just USD 17, which is a super good price considering the quality of the buffet.
Velana Beach Hotel does not have a gym, but on the island you can find a private gym that offers day-visit passes for a small fee. This is great for gym-goers like me who want to follow their workout routines even while on holiday.
Maafushi is famous for its beautiful beaches, and Velana Beach Hotel is a short five-minute walk away from the bustling Bikini Beach. This is a dreamy beach with swaying palm trees, crystalline turquoise waters, and soft white sand. We had fun swimming and frolicking in the shallow waters. After we got tired, we lazed on the sun loungers under the palm trees, enjoying the awesome sea view while sipping our cold coconut juice.
Luxury Resort Excursion
Maafushi is situated within close proximity to many luxury resort islands, and it is possible to book one-day Resort Excursions through Velana Beach Hotel.
We went to Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives, which is the typical type of luxury resort that comes to mind when people think of Maldives. We spent a full day here taking photos of the beautiful resort, lazing on the beach, enjoying unlimited alcohol at the super cool pool bar, and indulging in the sumptuous lunch buffet.
The highlight of our trip was definitely the Day Tour organized by Velana Beach Hotel! The tour consisted of snorkeling at Banana Reef, Turtle Reef, and Biyadhoo Reef. It also included dolphin watching, and a visit to the sandbank. Snacks and refreshments were provided on the boat. The package requires a minimum of four persons to go and costs USD 70 per person. If there are five people or more, the price goes down to USD 50.
You can read our full review of this awesome day tour here!
Day Tour – Snorkeling
Snorkeling was fun and we managed to see many colorful fishes and corals at each of the three reefs.
Day Tour – Sandbank
The sandbank visit was great too. We loved this tranquil island which was located in the middle of crystalline turquoise waters that blended out into the azure blue sea. Our guide even managed to catch a few ghost crabs by reaching his hand into the many crab holes on the sandbank. It was both funny and amazing to see him dig vigorously in the sand and pull out the helpless struggling crabs.
Day Tour – Dolphin Watching
But the highlight of the tour was definitely dolphin watching! We were lucky enough to spot an entire pod of dolphins! It was A-W-E-S-O-M-E to see these magnificent and elegant creatures in their natural state, swimming all around our boat. There must have been at least fifty to one hundred dolphins swimming all around us! Several of the dolphins were swimming so close to our boat that it felt like I could literally touch them.
On one evening, we went for the Night Fishing (USD 20) trip organized by Velana Beach Hotel. We went out in the early evening in a very spacious fishing boat.
It was my first time fishing and naturally I was pretty excited. When I felt a tug on the fishing line, I was ecstatic and immediately started pulling up the line fervently. Unfortunately, by the time I pull up the entire line, the bait was gone from the hook, but there was no fish to be seen. Needless to say I was pretty disappointed, but with the assistance of the boat crew I did eventually manage to catch several more fishes.
On the whole, it was a fun experience fishing in the open sea during sunset, and later on under a starry night.
The best part was that the hotel restaurant staff actually cooked all the fishes later and prepared a sumptuous feast for the seven of us that had gone for the fishing trip. The dishes were laid out nicely in a pretty table setting in the hotel garden. The fish tasted ABSOLUTELY fresh and delicious! And it felt really nice to dine al fresco in the garden with the other hotel guests, under a sky full of twinkling stars.
Awesome Travel Video
We did a short video highlighting our fun experiences in Velana Beach Hotel and Maafushi Island. Enjoy!
Thank you Velana Beach Hotel!We had a fantastic holiday in Maafushi because it is a cool local island with plenty of fun activities. However, our trip would not have been as awesome if we had not stayed at this premier boutique hotel with excellent accommodation, food, and service.
We were most impressed by the great hospitality of Shaza, Rimzan, and the rest of the hotel staff. They were warm and friendly to us throughout the stay, making us feel like Velana was a home away from home. Thank you for a wonderful vacation, Velana Beach Hotel!
Address: Miskyy Magu Maafushi 08090 Maldives
Reservations: Click here to book your room at Velana Beach Hotel
Phone: +960 7920044 / +960 7920088
This article is part of our completely free and fantastic Ultimate Maafushi Travel Guide. Why spend days researching when all your holiday information is simply a click away? 🙂